Adelina Patti's castle up for sale

Wednesday 6 July 2011, 09:20

James McLaren James McLaren

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Craig-Y-Nos, the mid Wales castle which was once home to Adelina Patti, the greatest soprano of her day, is up for sale to anyone with a spare £1.5 million.

The opera house at Craig Y Nos

The opera house at Craig Y Nos

Patti, who died in 1919 after a stellar singing career and high-flying social life, bought the castle, which is now a Grade I listed building, in 1878 and installed her own opera house.

Craig-Y-Nos ('rock of the night') has been run as a country house hotel for the past 10 years, but in its heyday as Patti's country retreat it played host to some of Europe's great and good: the then Prince of Wales - the future Edward VII - stayed there, along with the Crown Prince of Sweden and Henry of Battenburg.

The ornate opera house part of the property is decorated with the names of her favourite composers and musicians, among them Verdi, Rossini and Mozart.

Conservationist Mark Baker told the Western Mail: "It's a hidden gem. The theatre there is one of the most sumptuous private theatres in Wales. There are none to compare to it now because theatres were not kept. A lot of [Adelina Patti's] vision is still existing there, with the backdrops and murals."

Picture courtesy of McCartney's Estate Agents.

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    Comment number 1.

    I agree with Mark Baker that the theatre is "a gem" but needs extensive work to restore it to its former glory! It appeared on the Theatre Buildings at Risk (TABR) list in 2010 when the Theatres Trust commented " This is one of the most important private theatres in Britain, and deserves exceptional effort to see it restored and brought back to fuller use". My grandfather Constantine Hibbert was Patti's Head Gardener for over 30yrs, and told me on several occasions that the Prince of Wales (Edward V11) never actually made it to Craig-y-Nos. He made it to Swansea but the width of his car was a problem for the valley roads. Instead he " took tea" with Miss Talbot at Penrice Castle!.I have in recent years been researching life at Craig-y-Nos in 19th & 20th centuries and have recently published a book entitled "Fresh Flowers for M'lady" which includes many anecdotes and previously unseen photographs of Craig-y-Nos Castle/staff etc in the Patti era. My family have been associated with the castle since the 1870's and my great great grandfather's brother Morgan Morgan sold the castle to Patti.

    Tony Hibbert

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    Comment number 2.

    Hi Tony - thanks for agreeing with my comment - let us hope that Craig-y-Nos can be preserved for the Nation. Mark Baker


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